BEATRICE – One year after the Kensington Assisted Living Center closed in downtown Beatrice, a multi-part effort has hopes of finding another use and reopening the historic former hotel at the center of downtown.

Beatrice City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says grant funds and a cooperative arrangement between the state, city, a development district and Main Street Beatrice is being put in motion. Tempelmeyer says a grant is available through the State of Nebraska to purchase and rehabilitate the property…contingent upon the Southeast Nebraska Development District also getting a grant.

"Agemark had their deadline of when they wanted to get this property off their books, which is what kind of forced action here to get things moving. The closing between the city and Main Street on actual acquisition of the property has not been set. It has to do with when the grant funds come through. That will help determine when our closing happens with Main Street. In the meantime, upon Main Street's acquisition of the property, the city will lease the property from Main Street, for one dollar a month."

The city would later acquire the former hotel. "If the grant does come through and the city is able to acquire it from Main Street for one-million dollars, Main Street will immediately turn around and donate that money back to the city. The money donated back has to be used to preserve, promote and revitalize the downtown."

Under agreements finalized by elected officials Monday night, Main Street Beatrice would be reimbursed up to $50,000 for legal, accounting and closing costs along with a $20,000 administrative fee….to account for future, as yet unknown costs.

City Attorney Taylor Rivera says the city hopes to know sometime in May, whether SENDD has received its grant for the project. The closing on the arrangement between Agemark and Main Street Beatrice, officials say, should happen soon.

Agemark Senior Living pulled out of the multi-story facility as a retirement living center in April of 2022, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as a major factor, along with difficulty hiring staff. At the time of the announcement, the former hotel was home to about 43 retirees and 45 staff members.

Formerly known as the Paddock Hotel, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.